There are many fantastic cartoons from the 90’s that definitely make the re-watch list. But, boy oh boy, are there ever many more that should just never be screened ever again. Batman, Beetlejuice, Bonkers, South Park, Rupert, and even Captain Planet are all worthy cartoons from the 90’s. They deserve another viewing.
But then you have shows like Caillou, Barney, Super Mario, and Pokemon. Yes, that’s right. I said Pokemon. These shows have got the re-watch value of paint drying…and paint drying makes more sense than all of them! That’s how ridiculous many of the cartoons from the 90s can be. There are hundreds of cartoons (most of them from Japan) that debuted in the 90s…and then were pulled in the 90s as well.
And that’s not saying that some of these shows weren’t fun to watch as a kid. This article is all about the rewatch value. And it has to be said, shows like Pokemon have got nothing in terms of rewatch value. So here are 14 other nonsensical, toy-pushing, and just generally awful animated shows from the 90s.
15. Every Cartoon Based On A Jim Carrey Character…
Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber, and The Mask. Each one of these films has been turned into a cartoon. And what’s worse is that the cartoon characters were clearly made to resemble Jim Carrey’s film versions…and what’s worse still is that Jim Carrey didn’t voice a single one of these shows. It’s pretty sad when you spend so much time and effort making a cartoon that looks exactly like Jim Carrey (though still probably not as flexible or crazy), but you don’t follow through with hiring the man to do the work. If you couldn’t afford Carrey to do Carrey’s work, then maybe you should’ve just left it alone. And these shows all lost that element of adult humour that their film counterparts most certainly had. If you take away both the star and the filthy humour…you’re just left with an unwatchable cartoon.
14. Street Sharks
The 90s really saw an explosion of action without reason. This is how Michael Bay became so popular. Guns, explosions, mutants, explosions, sharks, explosions and explosions. This is the reason why people don’t have attention spans anymore. And the character names in this show just make me sigh. Mantaman, El Swordo, Slammu and (this is the best one) Moby Lick. And I promise you that Moby Lick is actually a character name in this show. And for that reason alone you may want to watch it, but I promise you that you will be entirely disappointed. Oh and I forgot to mention that part near the end of the series when the extraterrestrial dinosaurs show up to help the mutant shark people fight off an evil scientist and his creations. This could only be turned into a film if Michael Bay and Guillermo Del Torro had children together. One, big, trippy explosion.
13. Super Dave!
If you’re too young to have watched the live-action Super Dave show…then go back and watch it. But don’t get caught up in Super Dave: Daredevil For Hire with its ridiculous premise, and breathtakingly racist Asian stereotyping. Now that’s not to say that the live-action show didn’t have a bit of that too, but it was an adult show that played on all sorts of stereotypes. Teaching kids to do ridiculous stunts to save the world, and to be racist towards Asians is probably not a good thing to have in a cartoon. The live-action show was basically the tame version of Jackass, with a purposefully dense, American yahoo. The cartoon was all about how this dense, American yahoo could save the world by pulling stupid stunts. If that were the case, Trump would be doing a lot better in office right now.
12. Barney (Yes, It Counts)
You might not think that this acid trip of a show counts as animated in any way, but that would be because it’s been a long time since you’ve watched it. And for good reason too. Because this show lacks every ounce of rewatch value, for sure. There are certainly both animated segments and backdrops in this show, which apparently does warrant it being categorized as an animated show. The only thing I could think of that might give this show any value these days is the fact that Barney is played by a woman. And in this world of gender fluidity and social justice combat, it could be useful to bring Barney to bear as a man who was a woman all along. But if they really wanted a good character for that, they could skip the annoying purple “T-rex”, and go right to Bart Simpson, played famously by Nancy Cartwright.
11. Noah’s Island
Oh, this is one hell of an unwatchable show. For starters, it’s based on a fairytale story from the Bible…and then it somehow makes the story even more fantastical! So Noah has an ark, and he takes two of every creature with him while God pisses all over the world right? Well in this show, a chunk of Canada breaks off from a meteorite strike and goes for a swim in the ocean instead. And there are both people and woolly mammoths…at the same time that Canada existed! And the island is steered by a polar bear using a magma pit in the centre of the island! And the Komodo dragon doesn’t kill all of the animals. And how does a meteorite that can split part of Canada not just kill everything on that chunk of land? I know it’s a cartoon but…this makes almost as little sense as Pokemon! And it’s at least based on a story from a book that people hold up as the moral ideal…what!?
10. The Adventures Of Super Mario 3
There has pretty well never been a time where a Mario show or film has been good or successful. For anyone who has played Super Mario Bros. 3, surely you know that the story is pretty damn simple. Bowser kidnaps Princess Toadstool, and Mario must fight his way through several different worlds to beat the Koopa underbosses in order to square off against the big man. But in the show, Mario, Luigi, Toad, and the princess all work to fight against Bowser. So the show should’ve been called Super Mario Bros. 2. But isn’t the fun of most Mario games that you’re in a constant struggle for Peach? Isn’t that what most gamers struggle with in their parents’ basement? Going on that mythical journey for Peach? I think they lost the plot with this one.
9. New Kids On The Block…
So here’s one thing that the 90’s should have learned from the 80’s. There is only one show that can get away with promoting a pop band. And that band has to be fictional, magical and has to be called Jem And The Holograms. I’m glad that I was able to completely push this show from my mind growing up. Which is crazy since my sister loved both Jem and New Kids On The Block. But I managed to escape the 90’s fairly unscathed. So there are a couple of reasons why you should never watch this show again. First of all, no one listen to New Kids On The Block anymore (and nor should they). And secondly, we do not need to have those sorts of fashion trends coming back any more intensely than they already are. It makes me want to go ‘Click Click Click’, but not in a pop music way…
I have to be totally honest about this one. When I first watched this show (as a kid), I thought Caillou was a cancer kid. I mean, unless he was a baby, it would be weird to have no hair for no reason right? And it turns out that Caillou is meant to be four years old in the show. Of course, he apparently doesn’t suffer from cancer. He instead suffers from an incredible amount of privilege. If ever you hear people talking about how today’s youth just expect a free pass in life…it’s because of shows like Caillou. This tantrum-throwing, spoiled brat always gets his way. And when he does manage to do the right thing, it is ultimately only to end up getting his way. So doing the right thing was secondary. Rewatching this grumpy little brat is like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard for 20 minutes solid (without commercials).
7. Raw Toonage
Does anywhere here remember the show Bonkers? The crime-fighting bobcat who used to be a movie star? Well this Disney homage to the adult industry was basically a prequel to Bonkers. It talked about the life of Bonkers D. Bobcat, and how he broke into the industry. The fact that it was Disney and that it was called Raw Toonage, really makes me wonder though. After all, it’s no little-known fact that Walt Disney Jr. had his hand in the adult industry for a long time (and probably not just his hand). And the naughtiness aside, while it’s a fun idea to connect shows in this way, Bonkers was not enough of a hit to warrant a prequel. Hell, Star Wars is one of the biggest franchises in cinema history, and even its prequels suck.
This might stir up a lot of anger in readers but I say, without apology, that the Pokemon show is just garbage. From the very first episode, there is no sense made. These young kids are sent into the wilderness to find this place where they will learn to be masters…but they have no skills yet to fight off anything that comes at them. It’s like their parents were trying to get them killed to save money. Not to mention that the whole show is just one big advocation for slavery. Trapping all of these creatures and using them as they please, Ash and his friends just pit Pokemon against Pokemon. It’s amazing that PETA never tried to shut this show down. I challenge those who swear they love the show to sit and rewatch the damn thing, and try and come up with a coherent storyline from episode to episode. The show only exists for product placement.
5. James Bond Jr.
That’s right. 003 1/2 managed to get both a NES and SNES game, as well as his own cartoon series. And it’s full of all manner of Bond villains. You know, Bond villains who had already previously been killed by James Bond Sr. So already this show is stupid. Kids already loved Jame Bond, so there was no reason to make a dumbed-down kid version. And James Bond Jr. isn’t even the son of James Bond. Which could make sense as there is a Bond book where the sly guy does unwittingly sire a kind with one of his many Bond girls (which always makes me think of leather straps for some reason). But no, Jr. is actually Bond’s nephew. Of course, Ian Fleming never mentions siblings, so there is room for it, I suppose. But with James’ security clearance, there is no way that Jr. would know anything about his uncle without having worked alongside him.
4. The Highlander
There can be only one. And since there was already more than one film by this point, there was really no room for a Highlander cartoon series. Especially one that saw the murder of our favourite immortal right at the beginning of the series. So Connor MacLeod is murdered right at the outset and then the show flashes forward 700 years into the future where some kid gets killed, only to discover that he is actually immortal, and a descendant of Connor. And then he goes all around the world tamely sucking the powers from other immortals with some sort of energy transfer…rather than the traditional “Scottish” way of just cutting their heads off. If you have to tame something like Highlander for a kids cartoon…just don’t do it. This just goes to prove that the French and the Americans just shouldn’t work together. Especially not to produce “Scottish” stereotypes.
3. The Bots Master
This show just makes me laugh every time I think of it. It was pretty clear that the show (like Transformers and G.I. Joe) only really existed to sell toys. And I have to be totally honest here. The toys from this show were actually pretty cool. Some of mine are still in circulation with the younger generations in my family. But opening up with a white guy rapping about how he’s a genius and can kick everyone’s ass? Sorry, but the main character isn’t Eminem…and Eminem is not a genius. But this was back in that awkward point of the 90’s where it was almost socially acceptable for white kids to pretend they were gangstas. Which is kind of terrifying to think that there was a cartoon that promoted that. But oh well.
2. The Wonderful Galaxy Of OZ
Isn’t The Wizard of OZ trippy enough on its own? Do we really need to add science fiction to the whole fantasy world? Yeah, the Tin Man is a robot. The Scarecrow is an alien. And the Cowardly Lion…well at least they didn’t change much about him (other than giving him a gun belt). But otherwise, they ruined what was already a debatably good story to try and make it compete with all of the action-packed space garbage that was already floating around on TV. And their tagline…”We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore”. I mean for all they knew, when they went to OZ the very first time, it could have been another planet. It’s clearly no place on Earth (though it is all in Dorothy’s head), so why try and point out some sort of space adventure? Why not wait 20 years for James Franco to ruin OZ?
1. Gulliver’s Travels
So I’m guessing most people here haven’t read Gulliver’s Travels, but if you know anything about it, you should know that it’s not really meant for kids. Everyone knows the story of the Lilliputians and how Gulliver saves their town from a fiery doom by dowsing the flames. But in the book, he whips it out, and the town rains yellow before the fire goes out. Not to mention that the Lilliputians use Gulliver’s piece as a strategic bridge (as he brags about how massive he is down below). And then, of course, there is Gulliver’s former keeper. A man by the name of Master Bates. This is all done with some classic Swiftian satire full of racist and political jabs at his fellow countrymen and the rest of the world. You can’t really fit all of that into a kids cartoon…nor could you likely fit Gulliver’s gigantic…well you get the joke.
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